How to Cut Down USPS Boxes to Get Cheaper Rates

While we typically advocate for shippers to invest in their own custom packaging, cutting down certain USPS boxes is a strategy to access cheaper shipping rates
cutting down USPS boxes
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As more shippers become aware of special dimension-based services such as Priority Mail Cubic, many wonder if they can cut down USPS boxes to get better rates and lower their costs. As a best practice, we advise against doing this. Instead, we typically encourage shippers to invest in custom packaging and not cut down USPS boxes. However, cutting regular Priority Mail boxes to achieve smaller dimensions is a feasible option…and now that USPS has discontinued Regional Rate boxes, shippers have plenty of opportunities to alter USPS boxes to score better rates.

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The Only Way to Cut Down USPS Boxes is to Use Priority Mail Boxes

If you’re adamant about cutting down USPS boxes, the only way you can get away with it is to use Priority Mail boxes. The specific boxes USPS allows you to cut down are as follows:

Keep in mind that if you use any of these boxes listed above, you must also purchase Priority Mail postage (Priority Mail Cubic postage is also fine). If you don’t, you’ll be charged for Priority Mail service anyway via the Postal Service’s Automated Package Verification System.

Cutting Down Regional Rate Boxes that USPS Has Discontinued

In the past, USPS didn’t allow shippers to alter Priority Mail Regional Rate packaging at all. However, now that USPS has discontinued this service starting on January 22nd, 2023, cutting down Regional Rate boxes is fair game…and if you’ve got old Regional Rate boxes lying around, you’ve got a chance to capture some nice savings.

While the Postal Service decided to discontinue Regional Rate “as part of an effort to simplify the Priority Mail products offering,” USPS encourages customers who use these boxes to order more before supplies run out. However, USPS also stated that any Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes given to them after point forward will be treated as regular weight-based Priority Mail shipments. Since that’s the case, beginning on January 22, 2023, shippers are now able to cut down Regional Rate boxes to access more affordable cubic rates!

An Alternative to Altering USPS Boxes: Investing in Custom Packaging

Generally speaking, we would advise not altering USPS boxes (or any boxes, for that matter). In our experience, it’s quite a hassle and creates a somewhat unprofessional presentation. Plus, the savings you’ll get from cutting a box to make it smaller might not be worth the time.

If you’re building an eCommerce business, you might be better off using custom packaging. Custom packaging gives you an opportunity to reinforce your brand, and you can still ship in specially discounted mail classes like Priority Mail Cubic when you use online shipping software to buy labels. Also, a custom-designed package simply looks way better than a USPS box when it shows up on your customers’ doorsteps. When it comes to running an eCommerce business, image and branding go a long way.

For more information on the Postal Service’s stance on cutting down or altering boxes and envelopes, feel free to visit this FAQ landing page.

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  1. JP

    You article is incorrect. You CANNOT cut down RR Boxes after Jan 22, 2023… here is the USPS Official response that I received after inquiring deeper and sending them your article… it made it all the way to the NY Office where the USPS “Rules” are made…. here is the direct response: (This is from MRC SUPPORT … [email protected])

    Hello Jean,

    I have received notification from the Pricing and Classification Center below. Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

    You can find details about the current Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes A and B pricing in Notice 123, Price List ( With the discontinuance of these boxes, the Regional Rate pricing will no longer be available effective January 22.

    Customers can continue to use these boxes, but they will be treated as regular Priority Mail weight and rate packages on January 22. Commercial customers interested in Priority Cubic can use these boxes for that pricing effective January 22. The existing sizes of the Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes already fall within the acceptable cubic foot tiers for Priority Mail Cubic pricing (see Notice 123 for the Priority Mail Cubic pricing table). Customers should not alter USPS packaging and it should be used as designed. Altering the packaging weakens the container and could risk damaging or losing the package contents when in transit.

    Additional details about Priority Mail Cubic can be found in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)

    ————— Original Message —————
    From: MRC Support [[email protected]]
    Sent: 1/13/2023 11:14 AM

  2. Faith Epperson

    I know a lot of people give away their shipping boxes on BoxGiver. Hope that helps!


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